Eruditorum Press

This machine mildly irritates fascists

Skip to content

Jack Graham

Jack Graham wrote about Doctor Who and Marxism, often at the same time. These days he co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper.Support Jack on Patreon.

11 Comments

  1. Matthew Celestis
    November 9, 2014 @ 8:09 am

    Yes, the persistence of the BBC in offering interviews to Nick Griffin was appalling. Racist voices should not be heard on our televisions.

    If Nigel Farage continues to talk about defending the 'white working class,' and stirring up hatred about immigration, he needs to be banned from radio and television as well.

    Reply

  2. Anonymous
    November 9, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

    Blah blah blah, justifying discrimination.

    Reply

  3. Anonymous
    November 10, 2014 @ 6:32 am

    The problem with silencing fascists isn't that there's anything inherently wrong with wanting to stop people using their words to ultimately hurt others, it's that it's very difficult, if not impossible to build a silencing mechanism which only silences fascists, and far easier to build a silencing mechanism which silences all sorts of dissent, but looks like it's only silencing fascists to a sufficient number of people to be accepted as doing such. So in practice, you'll always get the latter.

    Strongish AI might change this situation in the future, but I wouldn't want to bet on it working. Allowing powers to exist unnecessarily is always going to be very dangerous, because the unscrupulous are the ones who will always be most motivated to seize it and to use it ruthlessly.

    Reply

  4. Jack Graham
    November 10, 2014 @ 9:43 am

    'No Platform' (which I believe in) aside, my point wasn't really that we could or should silence fascists in some repressive way, rather that it isn't an unreasonable idea in itself given that fascism is a rejection of, and inimical to, democracy. You don't become a fascist when you oppose them. Etc.

    Reply

  5. Ross
    November 10, 2014 @ 9:52 am

    Also, that the correct response to "Oh yeah? If you're so tolerant, why won't you tolerate my intolerance?" is "Go fuck yourself," optionally backed up with a punch to the nose.

    Reply

  6. Anonymous
    November 11, 2014 @ 5:32 am

    Yes, the persistence of the BBC in offering interviews to Nick Griffin was appalling. Racist voices should not be heard on our televisions.

    But wasn't it that Question Time appearance that finally killed the BNP as an electoral force?

    Isn't it possible that, had Griffin not been invited on Question Time, the BNP might still be winning councillors and possibly even MEPs?

    If Nigel Farage continues to talk about defending the 'white working class,' and stirring up hatred about immigration, he needs to be banned from radio and television as well

    I suspect, actually, that the reason the BBC keeps inviting him on is, well, partly because they are in the business of making television and he is good television, but also because they know they destroyed Griffin by handing him the petrol and letting him pour it over himself and then strike the match, and are trying to do the same thing to Farage.

    But regardless, they also know that banning doesn't work because they lived through the period of the ban on IRA members speaking on television, and they remember how abjectly that failed.

    Reply

  7. Jack Graham
    November 11, 2014 @ 10:34 am

    I think Dickibegyourpardonnick Griffin is perhaps something of a special case, given what a toweringly ludicrous, shambolic, embarassing, self-satirising pillock he is. Also, the BNP's downfall was at least as much – probably a lot more – to do with anti-fascist activist campaigning on the ground, plus the BNP's own pitiful internal incompetence.

    Reply

  8. Anonymous
    November 11, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

    Griffin is perhaps something of a special case, given what a toweringly ludicrous, shambolic, embarassing, self-satirising pillock he is

    There you see though you could say the same about Farage, couldn't you?

    I'm pretty sure that every BBC producer who books Farage does so at least partly in the secret, or perhaps not-so-secret, hope that this time will be the one where he self-destructs life on air, and so said producer can spend the rest of their life at Islington dinner parties casually mentioning that they were the one who destroyed UKIP.

    Also, the BNP's downfall was at least as much – probably a lot more – to do with anti-fascist activist campaigning on the ground, plus the BNP's own pitiful internal incompetence

    The BNP's incompetence was prodigious, of course, and perhaps I was scaremongering a little to suggest they might still be a threat now. But I'm pretty sure it was Question Time, and the subsequent media coverage, that brought him down: hardly any of the general population actually notices any 'anti-fascist activist campaigning on the ground', but a good meltdown on camera will provide an image that sticks in the minds of millions.

    Reply

  9. Gavin Burrows
    November 11, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

    "I suspect, actually, that the reason the BBC keeps inviting him on is… because they know they destroyed Griffin… and are trying to do the same thing to Farage."

    Even assuming someone thought that about Farage back then, it would be something of a hard idea to keep up in your mind right now.

    Reply

  10. Jack Graham
    November 11, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

    The anti-fascist activism on the ground is very much noticed by local people in areas where the BNP campaigned for seats.

    Reply

  11. Lenoxus
    November 12, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

    I don't disagree about the relative nonexistence of misandry, etc.

    One problem with treating Daleks as political rather than racial is in their actual mechanics on the show. People don't become persuaded by Dalek arguments and opt to join them, nor is a Dalek typically ever capable of "quitting". The best example I can think of a sci-fi "race" that really is more of an ideology would be the Nietzscheans from Andromeda, who follow a philosophy of self-interest and distinguish themselves from others through genetic modification.

    I did bristle at the way declarations like "Kill all Daleks" were treated as an obvious sign we were dealing with a good one, when lots of other explanations were possible — the simplest being that this particular Dalek had merely taken its worldview one species further than its brethren did. It would have been better for the Dalek to prove its goodness by affirming the value of non-Dalek life in combination with a desire for Daleks to be ended. Especially considering that, in the Dalek's own words, it really did have an epiphany of that nature.

    Even then, of course, there should have been suspicion that the Daleks (or at least one of them) had simply figured out not to go around shouting their EXTERMINATION plans all the time. Heck, they'd already shown themselves capable of deceit in "Victory of the Daleks", and fought literal Nazis for the sake of their own master plans.

    Ultimately, I think the Daleks work fine as a concept, and that universally identical groups really do have a place in fiction as a tool for interesting ideas. (Indeed, the concept is almost impossible to avoid when you bring in notions like robots, which are literally manufactured identically and under normal circumstances just obey their programming — Daleks are one of many of that sort of being.) The concept just happen to be overused.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.